by Kerry Andersen
Perhaps it’s a symptom of the pandemic and our changing lifestyle, but women everywhere are craving a more simplified routine, and that extends to beauty. We want to look fresh and polished for Zoom meetings and family outings without spending an hour in front of the bathroom mirror or a fortune on a stockpile of products. Cosmetic companies heard the call and in 2021 leaned in hard to the ‘less is more’ trend.
The key to nailing a simplified beauty routine is to seek out multi-tasking products. Consider switching out heavier foundations for a tinted moisturizer with a built-in sunscreen. Products like Iris & Romeo Best Skin Days have become a cult favorite for their efficiency. The five in one formula is a serum, moisturizer, sheer coverage, sunscreen and pollution protector. A new generation of brow products (Glossier Boy Brow, Thrive Causemetics Instant Brown Fix) will thicken, shape, and groom your brows with one easy swipe of a pigmented wand. Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind concealer is another great example of a product that can be used as a base, highlighter, blemish cover or contour depending on the shade you choose. The twist up sponge makes application quick and easy (and as a bonus, is infused with skin loving goji berry). Most major brands now also feature pots of color and sticks that can be used interchangeably on lips, cheeks, and eyes (Nars The Multiple).
Beauty industry icon Bobbi Brown recently founded a whole new brand based on the premise of ‘less is more’. Jones Road Beauty offers up a five-piece Bobbi Kit that promises you can do your makeup in three minutes or less. The hero product is a Miracle Balm that is touted as the secret to no-makeup makeup and is racking up awards and die-hard fans for the way it easily transforms skin. It can be worn alone or over traditional makeup and used as a bronzer, highlighter, eye shadow, lippie or skin tint. Likewise, Merit beauty launched in 2021 with just seven ‘impossible to mess up’ products inspired by minimalism and made with clean, skin loving ingredients. Their well edited customizable signature kit named Five Minute Morning is an easy way to remake your beauty routine affordably and without fuss. Look for all the major beauty companies to launch balms and get-ready-quick kits to tap into this new trend.
If you want easy, impactful results – reach for a pencil. Trying to draw a perfect wing with liquid eyeliner before your morning coffee is time consuming and often frustrating. Toss the wand and use a pencil instead – they’re just easier to control. Smudge out the pencil with a brush for an easy one-step smoky eye look. Modern lip pencils are also highly pigmented without being drying so they can be used as both liner and lipstick. Top it with gloss and you’re out the door in no time. Bonus: the new pencil formulas are made with better-for-you ingredients and are easy to tuck into a handbag or pack for travel.
Create a signature look. Focus on your biggest asset and play it up! A bold red lip or dramatic winged eyeliner allow you to simplify the rest of your routine.
Prioritize skin care. The most important step in your makeup routine is skin care. Moisturized skin requires less product to look good. Pro tip: look for serums and creams with hyaluronic acid for instant hydration.
Don’t overlook the basics. Well-groomed brows and curled eyelashes add polish without product. Quality makeup brushes make application effortless and professional.
Multitasking products for the win. Tinted moisturizer, some beauty balm and a few swipes of mascara is all it takes for a quick fresh-faced look.